Friday, February 20, 2015

Philly's temple Featured in NBC's "Allegiance"

The Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, home to the GL of PA, was prominently featured on the Allegiance, a new prime time show on NBC. The tour guide is Brother Danny Hinds, Superintendent of the Temple and Aide to the Grand Master.
Here's the link:

H/T Seth Anthony

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

UPDATED, SEE CORRECTIONS and APOLOGY: Prince Hall Lodge Running a Strip Club In Maryland

From the Maryland today. The Charles Datcher Masonic Lodge #15 of Washington D.C. is a lodge chartered by the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington DC, but I've never heard of a regular lodge that offers up strippers as a recruitment tool. Their private club even has a Facebook page. There is something very wrong with this picture. This is the kind of stuff that got the Jesters in trouble, and besmirches the fraternity. The MWPHGLofWDC needs to come down hard on these guys.

A private club in Forestville providing nightly strip dancing performances as a “recruitment tool” for freemasons has been denied a permit for adult entertainment.The Prince George’s County Council, which sits as the District Council on zoning issues, upheld the zoning examiner’s denial of a special exemption permit for adult entertainment to Bazz and Crue, during its Monday meeting.Dennis Whitley III, attorney for Bazz and Crue, described the site at 7752-7754 Marlboro Pike in Forestville as a private lounge for freemasons and potential freemasons of Charles Datcher Masonic Lodge #15 of Washington D.C.,; however, county zoning officials say the site hosts nightly nude dancing and lap dancing.Bazz and Crue owners could not be reached for comment.Whitley described the adult entertainment that goes on at the site as a “recruitment tool” to draw in potential freemasons.“I believe the idea is to go to where the gentlemen are,” Whitley told the council.Whitley described the dancers as “independent contractors” who make their money through tips.Whitley said potential members must apply to become freemasons and pay $240 yearly membership dues, with a $20 minimum down payment.“You can visit once, and if it is something you are interested in, you can go on to pay the full $240. If it’s something you’re not interested in, you don’t have to pay the rest,” Whitley said.Whitley said membership is not automatic, but that individuals must demonstrate they are of “moral character” in their applications.“What is the nature of the moral character you have to demonstrate?” said Council Chairman Mel Franklin (D-Dist. 9) of Upper Marlboro.Whitley said he could not speak to the specific requirements.Whitley characterized the adult entertainment as one of many events that go on at the private club, saying it is also used for masonic rituals, gatherings and classes, and where adult entertainment also occurs.“They offer adult entertainment, but it is still a private club,” Whitley said. “If they offered opera, it would not make it an opera house.”Permits filed with the county when Bazz & Crue opened in 2001 describe it as a private lounge for members of Charles Datcher Masonic Lodge #15 of Washington D.C.The permits stated the site would be used for classes, gatherings, as a rest area for elderly members and other events, but did not mention adult entertainment.“It seems to me there was a misrepresentation as to what was going on at the club,” said Councilwoman Deni Taveras (D-Dist. 3) of Hyattsville. 
Douglas Edwards of Capitol Heights, president of the Coalition of Civic Associations of Central Prince George’s County, said he is also a freemason and has never heard of the recruitment tactics used by the club.
“I’m a 32nd degree mason, and when I heard about the $20 fee, I thought, masons are not recruited. They come of their own free will,” Edwards said.Edwards spoke out against the club being awarded an exemption.“We’re not going to enjoy having that in our community,” Edwards said.Zoning ordinances passed in 2009 prohibit adult entertainment in the area, but Whitley argued the club should be grandfathered in as a special exemption, as adult entertainment had been going on at the site since 2001.

H/T Bill Arnold


UPDATE From the Prince George's County application to the zoning board Note the curious way the lodge is referred to in the application. I smell a rat:

Applicant’s Request

(7) The Applicant is seeking approval of S.E. 4717 to operate a Private Club with Adult Entertainment.  Members of a chapter of the Masons/Shriners located in Washington D.C. (the “Charles Datcher Lodge #15”, Free and Accepting Masons, Prince Hall) formed a separate nonprofit legal entity,  CD#15CL2001, Inc.,  to do various charitable deeds and to operate the instant Private Club for the members’ enjoyment. 
Applicant actually operates two Private Clubs – one at the subject property (d/b/a X4B) and one on Forestville Road in District Heights (d/b/a Bazz and Crue).[1]  Applicant has operated X4B since August 10, 2007, pursuant to a Use and Occupancy Permit that allows it to operate “a private club per 37380-2006”.  (Exhibit 7) 

(8) Applicant submitted copies of its Articles of Incorporation, tax records and Bylaws for inclusion in the record.  (Exhibits 12 pp. 41-47, 38, 42, 45, 50 and 51)  Applicant also submitted a “Programs & Services for X4B” flier explaining the Private Club’s interests and missions which include helping single mothers, providing drug prevention education, helping the homeless, and providing education to the adult entertainment industry workers.  (Exhibit 43)  Finally, a copy of the organization’s Trestleboard (similar to minutes) was provided.  (Exhibit 44)

[1] Bazz and Crue’s application for Adult Entertainment  -SE-4716-was denied by this Examiner.

I received this note from the lodge on Facebook today, explaining the issue:

I read your article yesterday and think I even left a comment but long story short. The lodge has nothing to do with it. A member of the lodge who has been off the rolls for years owns the establishment. Pretty much he used a variation of the lodges name to obtain tax exempt status and during his failure to obtain a new permit tried to justify the purpose of his establishment. We are currently in the process of taking legal action to put a very strong end to this subject. Our lodge does not condone the use nor use this establishment as a recruiting tool.

In looking over the application for the zoning permit, printed above, you will see that it is made out by "Charles Datcher #15, Free and Accepting Masons, Prince Hall" which is no way I've ever heard of a PHA lodge referring to itself. So it appears that this whole incident has nothing to do with the very honorable Charles Darcher Lodge PHA, and I profusely apologize for the tempest in a teapot it caused. I am deeply sorry for the pain it caused to the brethren of the lodge, and for the upset it may have caused in the halls of the Grand Lodge. I was simply reporting what came over the news service, which can always be suspect. CLH

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Brother John Bridegroom's Little Girl Needs Your Help

John Bridegroom is the art director for the Journal of the Masonic Society, and also operates The Master's Craft, a maker of fine Masonic products. His daughter is 8 years old and suffering from leukemia. In a few days she will undergo a bone marrow stem cell transplant in Indianapolis at Riley Hospital for Children. As you can imagine, this experience has put a tremendous strain on the family, financially and emotionally. They have been commuting from northern Indiana back and forth to Indianapolis for two years, a three hour trip.

Donna Donley has set up a website to take donations for Phoenix and her family. They are attempting to raise $5000 to defray some of the extraordinary costs of this ordeal. Let's pull together as Masons to help this incredibly resilient little girl and her family during this difficult time.

From Donna's site:

Only 2 days until Phoenix starts her 3 month stay at Riley's ! Please continue to like & SHARE this post to rally support
Now that Phoenix has relapsed....she needs our help more than ever!! The family is struggling with the financial burdens of having a child with cancer, of not being able to work, medical expenses, travel back and forth from home to Rileys Childrens Hospital, meals away from home, and living away from home..
This unbelievable little girl has fought harder than anyone can imagine and still wakes up with a smile. She has uplifted so many people. Not only family and friends, but complete strangers that follow her story on Facebook and share their stories of similar battles......
Please join Phoenix's team.....we need all the help we can get!

She has been battling a rare form of Leukemia called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) for 3 years!! After 2 years our family was ready to celebrate  a triumph over cancer when Phoenix had a relapse.... Her future requires a Stem Cell Transplant.
This family is facing the battle one day at a time and I am hoping that you will make a donation to help them keep up the fight. Even if you cant donate, your prayers are greatly appreciated.
Visit the facebook page Friends and Family of Phoenix Bridegroom if you would like to see and read more about Phoenix and her journey.
ABOUT THE FAMILY....Tammy, John and Diva Bridegroom are Phoenix's family.  They are some of the strongest people that I have ever met. During the hardest struggle of their lives, they managed to participate in dozens of fundraisers for Leukemia and other Cancers.  Phoenix has raised money for Rileys childrens hospital, and even appeared in their Christmas commercial.  She also earned a heart on the wall for reaching a fund raising goal for Ronald McDonald House!  Through all of the trials and hardships they managed to help others.  Tammy told me that she prays she can help as many people as have helped them!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Utah Shotgun Has Masonic Past

LEHI -- Slightly more than a week ago, outfitter Jeff Davis discovered that Cabela’s had purchased a shotgun that told its own tale -- a model 1912 Winchester 20-gauge.
The store's Gun Library displays and sells preowned guns.
“I get lots of stories from the public about the rifles, but that is what most of them are, just stories,” said Cory Cannon, the Gun Library manager.
“We don’t have any guns of historical significance; we have guns from the Civil War era, but I don’t have any guns that we can attribute to some famous person."
A customer recently walked in and wanted to sell his shotgun. As per law, the serial number was sent to the state to make sure it was a clean gun.
When Davis, a Cabela’s Gun Library outfitter, started to get the shotgun ready for display, he said he noticed the butt plate was on backward, so he took it off to put on correctly.
“When I opened it up, there was a little borehole there and a note wrapped up tight in there,” he said.
That’s when he noticed the paper was marked with the Freemason seal.
Removing the old paper caused it to tear, but the message was complete. The document was a record of trade dated 1925 and had the letterhead of the Provo Freemasons, the oldest established Freemasons in Utah, Story Lodge No. 4.
“I think that it’s pretty cool,” Davis said.
He contacted the Freemasons' Grand Lodge offices in Salt Lake City and received an answer.
“If I was asked to guess as to why a transaction of a gun would appear on a Lodge’s stationary, I would have to say it was the only convenient piece of paper close at hand,” said William C. Hall, in an email response to Davis.
The note reads, “Received this gun from Hewitt Strong, a trade for a 16-gauge Winchester model 1897” and is signed by H. F. Cannon, who was the Worshipful Master of the Provo Lodge Freemasons.
Hall said there was a discrepancy in the date on the transaction and the date that Cannon served as Worshipful Master.
“The date that H.F. Cannon was Worshipful Master was in 1929, so your date of 1925 is not correct as the letterhead would not have been printed until 1928 at the earliest,” Hall said.
Davis said he thinks the previous owner wasn’t aware of the note.
Once it is cleared by the state on Feb. 14, the Winchester legally could be put on sale. Instead, the shotgun will be on display in the Cabela’s Gun Library through the month of March.
“I don’t know of any other discoveries like this,” said Melissa Overson, Cabela’s spokeswoman. “I think it’s really cool; it’s interesting to see a piece of history."

Friday, January 30, 2015

Freemasonry in Religious History April 8th, 2015

Boston University's American and New England Studies Program will present Dr. David G. Hackett (author of That Religion in Which All Men Agree: Freemasonry in American Culture) on Wednesday, April 8th at 8PM. The lecture is free and open to the public. Dr. Hackett will speak on Enlarging the Field: Freemasonry in American Religious History.

The lecture will be in room 211, BU College of Arts and Sciences, 685-725 Commonwealth Avenue, in Boston, Massachusetts. Refreshments will follow the talk.

This event is co-sponsored by Boston University Lodge AF&AM and the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

For more information, contact Professor William D. Moore at

H/T Will Moore

Bannak Historic Lodge No. 3-7-77 in Montana

For a nominal fee, any Master Mason who is in good standing within their respective lodge and grand lodge and is recognized by the GL Grand Lodge of Montana AF&AM, can join Bannack Historic Lodge No. 3-7-77 AF&AM of MT. The lodge is located in Bannak State Park. It appears that they have yearly gatherings, but there is no stated meetings held, nor any degrees conferred. There are over 130 members from across the globe that are members, but the majority of members are from the US and Canada. In other words, this is not a 'working lodge', but rather a historical Masonic Lodge in Montana that with the contributions, you become a fellow caretaker of this historic building and your money goes toward it's upkeep and visitors appeal.

The annual meeting is always the second Saturday in September. This year it will be September 12th, and members are encouraged to wear period costumes. Bannak was the first territorial capital of Montana.
Petition fee only - $37.77; Petition fee and either pin or certificate plus S&H - $45.00; Petition fee, pin, and certificate plus S&H - $50.00. Checks should be payable to Bannack Historic Lodge No. 3-7-77, A.F. & A.M. (in U.S. Funds).
*** All fees and purchase amounts are listed in U.S. Funds and should also be noted as such on any checks from outside of the U.S. ***
A photocopy of the petitioner’s current dues card (front and back) must accompany the petition.

H/T Darrell Waddell

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Orleans Scottish Rite College YouTube

From my friend Michael Poll, owner of Cornerstone Book Publishing in Louisiana comes this message and informative video:

Well, the first video of the New Orleans Scottish Rite College YouTube channel (an introduction to the series) is live. When anyone talks of "low budget" THIS is a classic example of low budget. It was shot with an inexpensive camera in a corner of my living room. The audio and lighting is ... well, poor and the whole production is less than stellar. But you know what? It is a step. The goal is to try and lift up both Masonry and the Scottish Rite with some videos that may prove a bit helpful.As mentioned, this is only an introduction to the series. All can rest assured that nothing in any video will be of a nature that should be reserved for a tiled lodge. You participation, support, comments, suggestions, ideas, etc., etc. are not only welcomed, but sincerely sought.For the last 35 years I have tried to learn and then share what I have learned. It is the only way that I have to try and pay back the great honor and privilege I have received by being allowed to be a part of this great fraternity. If you like this modest start, please spread the word. I could use your help. Many thanks.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Speaking at Cloverdale, Indiana Saturday January 17

I'll be speaking Saturday night at Cloverdale Lodge No. 132 in Cloverdale, Indiana. Dinner is at 6PM, and I will speak at 7PM. The lodge is about 3 miles west of town on Robert L. Weist Avenue, out in the country. 320 E County Road 1000 S, Cloverdale, 46120.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Orleans Scottish Rite Temple Sold

Another one gone. From the New Orleans Times Picayune today:

The historic 162-year-old Scottish Rite Temple downtown sold to a local developer for $3.25 million last month, ending the Freemason's 110 years of ownership.
The Greek revival style building one block from Lafayette Square at 619 Carondelet St. was built in 1853 as a First United Methodist Church. The New Orleans Scottish Rite group bought the property in 1905 and has owned it ever since.
The sale was completed Dec. 26 and recorded in Orleans Parish records this week.
The New Orleans Scottish Rite of Freemasonry couldn't immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. The seller was listed as New Orleans Scottish Rite Foundation Inc. Corporate Realty brokered the deal.
The buyer is listed as CDB Carondelet LLC represented by local developer Craig Boes, who couldn't immediatley be reached for comment.  
The 18,200-square-foot temple houses a first-floor full service kitchen and space for 100 diners, according to a property listing. A second-floor auditorium has seating for more than 360 people under a 30-foot ceiling.
The sale also includes an annex built in the late 1970s, which served as administrative offices.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fraudulent Masonic Museum in Spain

I received this today from Brother Bob Cooper by way of Brother Brent Morris. Be vigilant!

Dear Sir and Brother, I am aware that Lodge Celtic, No.291, was recently approached by an individual purporting to be a Freemason and Curator of a Masonic Museum in Madrid, Spain. The Grand Lodge of Scotland has confirmed with the Grand Lodge of Spain that the individual concerned, and his alleged Masonic Museum, has no connection whatsoever with the Grand Lodge of Spain. The Grand Lodge of Scotland has posted a News Item on this matter on the Grand Lodge web site. The link to that page is  
I attach the text of the item below for those who might not have access to the internet. I would be grateful if you could alert your Masonic contacts to this apparent scam in order that they do not part with any valuable items. I know that recently a 14ct gold Scottish Past Master’s jewel has been sent to this ‘Museum’ and is probably now irrecoverable. 

Many thanks.  
Robert L D Cooper, Curator

Unsolicited contact with Scottish Lodges
Grand Secretary, David M. Begg, has been made aware that Scottish Lodges are being contacted by individuals.
This is against International Masonic protocols which are  designed to protect Scottish Lodges and Scottish Freemasons from falling victim to unscrupulous. mailings. Recent examples have been arriving by email  from individuals claiming to be the Curator of a Masonic Museum in Madrid, Spain. One surname that is used is Moreno. The Grand Lodge of Spain has confirmed to Grand Lodge that these individuals have no connection with the Grand Lodge of Spain, and they have no information regarding any Masonic Museums in Spain.
All Lodges are reminded that all communication between Lodges under different Grand Lodges should, initially, be made via the office of Grand Secretary.

In the event of receipt of a request for Masonic items (purportedly for a Masonic Museum) or indeed any other enquiry (for instance requests to attend a meeting of the Lodge, asking for charitable donations or requests for assistance in finding work) should be referred to Grand Secretary in order that advice can be given.

Phase II of the Quarry Project in Indianapolis 9/18-20

The Masonic Society, the Masonic Library and Museum Association, and the Masonic Information Center are pleased to announce that Phase II of The Quarry Project will be held September 18-20, 2015 in Indianapolis, IN. The conference will be held in a downtown Indianapolis hotel to be determined within a few weeks.
The Quarry Project is a continuing effort designed to promote Masonic research and preservation by providing instruction and guidance to Masonic writers, researchers, and editors both within and without the fraternity and also to Masonic librarians and museum curators on the display, preservation, and cataloging of Masonic archives. Phase II will feature a third track on Masonic public relations sponsored by the Masonic Information Center, an arm of the Masonic Service Association.
The format for Phase II will remain basically the same with a few tweaks based on feedback from Phase I attendees. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will begin with a general session featuring a keynote speaker. Attendees will then break out to the instructional sessions of their choice on Friday and Saturday with both days adjourning at approximately 5:00 P.M. Lunch on Friday and Saturday will be included in the registration fee. A banquet will be held on Saturday evening. Sunday will feature a roundtable discussion immediately after the morning keynote address and the conference will adjourn by noon.
We invite anyone, Freemason or not, with an interest in these topics to attend the conference. The programs are currently being developed and will be made available as soon as they are complete. Further information will be released as it becomes available. Registration will be begin on March 1, 2015. The Quarry Project website is .
In conjunction with The Quarry Project, The Masonic Library and Museum Association will hold their annual meeting prior to this event on Thursday, September 17. Please contact the MLMA for further details on their meeting. Their website is located .

Friday, January 09, 2015

Masons Killed in Charlie Hebdo Attack

I received this note today from a Grand Orient Mason in France:

Hi Chris,

Two of the journalists assassinated in the cowardly and barbarous attack on Charlie Hebdo were Freemasons. Bro Bernard Maris, economic columnist at CH, and Bro Michel Renaud, formerly  of Europe 1 and Le Figaro, were both active Freemasons in the Grand Orient, Bernard in Roger Leray Lodge in Paris and Michel in Lux Perpetue Lodge in Clermont Ferrand.

They died representing the values we stand for :

- Freedom of expression,
- Freedom of conscience
- FREEDOM in general

There is no real equivalent in English language Freemasonry but in French we say "Gémissons, gémissons, gémissons, mais espérons". Which translated roughly means "Cry with anguish, cry with anguish, cry with anguish, but let us hope."

I trust you will find a space in your blog to make a worthy tribute to our departed Brethren.

S & F,


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

GL of Kansas Looking For Librarian/Archivist

Official notice from the Kansas Masonic Foundation in Topeka, Kansas:

The Grand Lodge of Kansas Masonic Museum & Library is seeking a full-time archivist as it renovates and re-purposes its internal collection of Masonic material, records, books and artifacts. The successful candidate will be self-motivated and forward-thinking with a commitment to access, public service, collection management and preservation.
Reporting to the Grand Librarian, the archivist will work under limited supervision with considerable latitude in initiative and independent judgment. He or she will be held to the highest ethical standards of a professional archivist in categorizing, maintaining, preserving, and providing access to the Museum's archival collection. Although prior subject knowledge of the history of Freemasonry and fraternalism is not required, the successful candidate will be familiar with American fraternalism and be willing to acquire such additional subject knowledge on the job as is required, with guidance from the Grand Lodge staff.
The archivist is responsible for all aspects of the archives collections. The archives collections are comprised of a number of important collections pertaining to Freemasonry, fraternalism, and American history, as well as the institutional archives of the Grand Lodge of Kansas, which date back to 1856; and the institutional archives of Kansas Masonic lodges in general from 1856 to the present.

Duties and Responsibilities
Essential duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Develop and maintain a collection policy for a disparate collection of books, periodicals, intra-state and interstate Masonic records, artifacts and ephemera.
  • Arrange, describe, and house archival materials according to current professional standards, including the creation of finding aids and MARC records
  • Provides archival reference services for in-house staff and external researchers
  • Actively seeks new acquisitions via donation and/or purchase
  • In conjunction with the Grand Librarian, the Grand Secretary, and the Council of Administration, advise on the development and/or refinement of policies and procedures for the records management program of the Grand Lodge of Kansas
  • Maintain a thorough and up-to-date understanding of digital file formats, electronic records management, and digital sustainability practice and theory
  • Continue to inventory, prioritize, and catalog archives backlog
  • Assist with the planning, research, and organization of reading room exhibitions
  • Participate in digitization projects
  • Promote archives collections to academic, Masonic, and other audiences through various outlets, including the Kansas Lodge of Research’s publications, and The Kansas Mason, the membership magazine of the Grand Lodge of Kansas
  • Staffs reference desk as required
  • Recruits and supervises archives interns and volunteers as needed
  • Performs other duties as assigned/required by supervisor
  • Master’s Degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited institution, or graduate degree in archival studies, or graduate degree in a related discipline with equivalent experience in archives
  • Minimum of three (3) years professional archives experience, preferably in a museum or academic setting, and including experience with reference, acquisitions, and collections processing
  • Demonstrated knowledge of trends, principles, and practices in archival collections, including issues in
  • electronic/digital archives
  • Enthusiasm for Masonic, fraternal, and American history
  • Strong and broad historical research and analysis skills; excellent attention to detail
  • Sound and effective writing skills
  • Excellent   interpersonal  and   organizational  skills   evidenced   by   success   working   in   a   collaborative environment
  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional development and growth
  • General knowledge of issues in records management, along with practical experience, or at least one course in records management
  • Strong customer-service orientation and excellent interpersonal skills
  • Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Must be team oriented, collaborative, diplomatic, and flexible
  • Ability to regularly lift 40 lb. records storage boxes
  • Second Master’s degree in American history or American studies
  • Subject knowledge of the history of Freemasonry and fraternalism
  • Institutional archives and/or records management experience
  • Familiarity with archival collections management systems or databases, such as ArchivesSpace
  • Knowledge of archival metadata schemas and standards, EAD, DACS
  • Familiarity with current technology collection management software (e.g. Mimsy XG)
Grand Secretary
Grand Lodge of Kansas A.F.&A.M.
320 SW 8th Avenue
Topeka, Kansas  66603-3912

Position Requirements

Preferred Qualifications
Work Schedule
Position requires working Saturdays every other month: Tuesday-Saturday, 8:30-4:30.  Alternating month schedule is Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30.
Salary & Benefits
$31,000 to $42,000 per year. Benefits include Medical & Dental health plan, paid vacation, and 401K plan.
About the Grand Lodge of Kansas Library and Archives
The Grand Lodge of Kansas Library and Archives is undergoing a major renovation transforming it from a small, underfunded, and largely uncategorized, private library to a major Masonic repository withing ten years.  Founded by the Grand Lodge of Kansas in 1917 and supported by Kansas Freemasons and the Kansas Masonic Foundation, the Grand Lodge of Kansas Library and Archives collection reflects the scope and influence of Masonry in the State of Kansas which predates Kansas statehood.  As it is repurposed the Library and Archives will encompass the scope of Fremasonry, fraternalism, and American history and will support research on the Museum's collections, as well as the exhibitions the Museum has displayed throught its nearly 100 year history.
The collection is comprised of numerous materials including unpublished Masonic records from individual lodges, fraternal regalia dating from the mid nineteenth century, a large collection of published Masonic and fraternal material, a small but significant art collection, and minute and ledger books of various other fraternal groups.
To apply, please send cover letter and resume to:
Tracy Bloom

Boston Time Capsule Opened Today

From Bostoninno on 12/12/2014. The box was opened today and included just what the Grand Lodge said it did.

On Sunday, December 14, the Museum of Fine Arts will x-ray the time capsule found in the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House. Though the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a good idea of what's inside the small lead box based on state records, the Freemason Grand Lodge of Massachusetts knows for sure.  After all, they inserted the items.

Though Samuel Adams was the Governor of Massachusetts when the cornerstone of the State House was laid, he invited the Grand Lodge to conduct a traditional cornerstone ceremony. The Grand Master at the time was his old buddy, fellow patriot and midnight rider Paul Revere.

According to Robert Huke, Revere "deposited under it a number of gold, silver and copper coins, and a silver plate" bearing the following inscription:

"This Corner-stone intended for the use of the Legislature and Executive Branches of Government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was laid by His Excellency Samuel Adams, Esq’r, Governor of said Commonwealth assisted by the Most Worshipful Paul Revere, Grand Master; and Right Worshipful Wm. Scollay, Deputy Grad Master; The Grand Wardens and Brethren of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

On the 4th Day of July 1795, A.L. 5795 being the 20th Anniversary of American Independence."

Revere also spoke at the ceremony. He lauded the fact that the nation was essentially born from Massachusetts and that it's governed by laws as opposed to people, urging people not to take that for granted and to live as good citizens.
His words, though perhaps a bit difficult to decipher in some spots, for the most part ring true to this day:

"Worshipful Brethren, I congratulate you on this auspicious day: — when the Arts and Sciences are establishing themselves in our happy Country, a Country distinguished from the rest of the World, by being a Government of Laws. — Where Liberty has found a Safe and Secure abode, — and where her Sons are determined to support and protect her.

"Brethren, we are called this day by our Venerable + patriotic Governor, his Excellency Samuel Adams, to Assist him in laying the Corner Stone of a Building to be erected for the use of the Legislature and Executive branches of Government of this Commonwealth. May we my Brethren, so Square our Actions thro life as to shew to the World of Mankind, that we mean to live within the Compass of Good Citizens that we wish to Stand upon a Level with them that when we part we may be admitted into that Temple where Reigns Silence & peace"

In 1855, when making emergency repairs to the State House, workers came across the time capsule accidentally. Using the silver plate, they were able to include another engraving:
The Corner Stone of the Capitol having been removed in consequence of alteration and additions to the building the original deposit, together with this inscription, – is replaced by.

"The Most Worshipful Winslow Lewis, M.D., Grand Master, The other Officers and Brethren of The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in presence of – His Excellancy Henry J. Gardner, Governor of the Commonwealth, on the 11th day of August, A.D. 1855. A.L. 5855"

It appears that the time capsule contents aren't quite as extensive as the ones found in the statue of the lion that overlooks the Old State House (not to be confused with the Beacon Hill State House) which contained letters, photos, receipts, buttons, pins and a book on foreign relations. It was first installed in 1901.

The coins in the freshly discovered time capsule could date back as far as 1652.
We'll get confirmation of the items from the Museum of Fine Arts once they're done with their examinations.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Speaking at Indiana Library Museum Saturday 1/10

I will be speaking at the Grand Lodge of Indiana's Library and Museum on this Saturday, January 10th at 2PM. The topic will be "The Freemasons In Washington D.C." The Library Museum will be open from 8AM to 9AM on Saturday, and again from 1PM until 3PM for tours, and is located in the Indianapolis Masonic Temple located at 525 North Illinois Street in Indianapolis. The Grand Lodge Founder's Day program will be going on across the street in the Scottish Rite Cathedral from 9AM until after lunch.

If you haven't been to the Library Museum, be sure to come by.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

End of An Era At Indiana Freemasons Hall

My friend and brother, WB James Dillman served ten years on the board of Indiana Freemasons Hall in Indianapolis, and eight of them as president. During his tenure, he oversaw an incredible array of improvements to the building. Last night was his final meeting, as a new president was elected and Jim leaves the board. From his farewell address today:

 I am proud of the many improvements that have been made to Indiana Freemasons’ Hall in the last eight years. All totaled, they amounted to nearly $1,000,000. The parking lot and south entrance were demolished and reconstructed and a handicap ramp was installed. We have two new gas boilers, a new condensate system, new pre-heat and reheat coils, and numerous energy-saving measures were made to the air and steam handling system. We have new windows throughout the building and extensive repairs have been made to the roof. The second floor kitchen has been completely remodeled and new appliances, including a commercial dishwasher, were purchased. The building has been completely re-plumbed from the basement to the third floor. New electrical boxes have been installed on seven of the eight floors and much additional electrical work completed. LED lighting was added to the exterior of the building. Several other areas have been painted and re-carpeted. Fulltime private security was added with the assistance of the Indiana Masonic Home Foundation and Grand Lodge of Indiana. A new welcome desk greatly improved the appearance of our beautiful marble lobby. In addition, the Indiana Masonic Home Foundation and Grand Lodge of Indiana demonstrated their belief in the future of the building as both of their offices underwent extensive remodeling that required significant investments. In 2009, the monumental task of moving the Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana from Franklin to Indiana Freemasons’ Hall was accomplished. Through much hard work on the part of Director Mike Brumback, PGM, and the Library/Museum Board of Directors, we have a beautiful new library and museum that is attracting many visitors to the building from all over the world. Many of these visitors also take the opportunity to tour the building and even though the building is still a little rough around the edges in several locations, the comments are almost universally glowing.

Jim is one of the most dedicated Masons you will ever meet. He spent an incredible amount of time at Freemasons Hall, and many times arrived in the mornings at the crack of dawn, and catching a little sleep in the office later in the day in his chair. Few men could have accomplished what Jim has done in the last eight years. The new president, Gary Selig, has some mighty big shoes to fill.

This is truly the end of an era as my longtime friend Nathan Brindle also leaves after eight years as secretary of the board. Nathan at one time was the secretary for nine Masonic organizations, and never dropped a stitch. He and I joined Masonry at Broad Ripple Lodge in Indianapolis at the same time, and he served as Master the year after me, after just three years in the fraternity. He is an accomplished leader, and I have been proud to call him my closest friend since we were sixteen years old.

I served on the board for seven years, and am proud of our achievements. We have helped to stabilize what was an endangered building, and I think we helped to cement it's future. There is still much for the new board to accomplish, and I wish them well. I hope they lead with the same vision that Jim, Nathan and I, and the rest of the dedicated members and volunteers over the years have. It is the home of our Grand Lodge here in Indiana, and is owned by every Indiana Mason. It deserves their support.

Jim is the president of the Masonic Society this year and Nathan is the ongoing secretary. They do just as great a job at leading that organization as they have with Freemasons Hall. I couldn't be prouder of these two men, and I am honored to call them my friends and brothers. Good luck to both of these fine men as they move on to the new phase of their lives.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

England Once Again Engages In A Masonic Witchhunt

Speaking of the foreign press in the previous post, England's The Guardian has published a completely unfounded rumor about a notorious event in 1989--the Hillsborough disaster. I was immediately suspicious when the cop making the allegation of a "Masonic conspiracy" to cover up police inaction when he referred to another cop as a "grandmaster of a particularly influential lodge." These allegations go back to the Jack Straw days when all members of the judiciary and police officers were required to publicly state that they were Freemasons, the only group singled out for this treatment.

Here's the article. Click the link for more.

Senior South Yorkshire police officers who were freemasons orchestrated a “masonic conspiracy” to shift the blame after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, the inquests into the deaths of the 96 victims have been told.Maxwell Groome, a constable at the time, said that after the disaster at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s football ground, “the word” inside the force was that freemason officers held a meeting to blame superintendent Roger Marshall.Groome said he heard that the meeting took place in portable cabins at South Yorkshire police’s area office, and was attended by Chief superintendent David Duckenfield, who had commanded the match.Questioned by Michael Mansfield QC, representing 75 families whose relatives were killed at Hillsborough, Groome said he believed Duckenfield was “a grandmaster of a particularly influential lodge” – the Dore lodge in Sheffield.Groome also told the inquest that senior officers pressured junior officers to change their statements after the disaster, because they were “terrified” of criticism of the force’s command. He said he was “duped” into agreeing to the changes, because he believed if he did not, he would never be called to give evidence to Lord Justice Taylor’s official inquiry or to the first inquest, and his statement would be “magicked away, dumped in a box, never to see the light of day again”.Groome said a colleague, PC Brookes – whose first name was not given in court – called the inquiry team at West Midlands police to complain it was “a masonic conspiracy”.Groome said Brookes told him West Midlands police asked if he could prove the conspiracy. Brookes told them he couldn’t, and Groome said they concluded it would not be investigated.Asked why in earlier accounts about the events of the day he did not include the rumoured meeting of freemason officers, Groome replied: “Basically, I’d have been committing professional suicide.”Marshall, who was in command outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles at Hillsborough, had requested a large exit gate to be opened, to alleviate a crush of Liverpool supporters outside the ground, and allow a large number in. The jury has heard that police did not close off a tunnel inside, which led to the Leppings Lane terrace’s crowded central “pens”, that many of the incoming fans headed down it, and the lethal crush happened in those pens.Groome said he subsequently heard of the meeting between senior officers, said to have included Duckenfield, superintendents Roger Greenwood and Bernard Murray, Inspector Steven Sewell and Chief inspector David Beal.“Being unable to prove it, I believe that most of them were masons,” he said.The coroner, Lord Justice Goldring, sent out the jury of seven women and four men to allow legal discussions after Groome gave his evidence about the freemasons’ meeting. At the end of the day, the coroner referred the jury to “evidence of a meeting said by Mr Groome, on the basis of rumour, to have taken place on the morning of April 16”.Goldring told them: “I should say this quite clearly to you: we have no other evidence than this rumour, said to emanate from the [South Yorkshire police] area office. It amounts to no more than what the witness described as ‘scuttlebutt’.’”

Queensland, Australia Masonic Lodge Vandalized

Vandalism of Masonic lodges is not isolated to the US. The lodge in Queensland, Australia was hit yesterday by vandals who painted slogans and words on the bricks. In this article by Amy Remelkis she describes the damage, and I didn't appreciate the fact that she went into what one of the words meant. It never ceases in the foreign press.

For photos go to this article in the Brisbane Times here:

Freemasons have been accused of being 'baby killers' and 'terrorists' in a vandal attack on a Queensland Masonic Lodge.The Wynnum Masonic Centre, which was established in Brisbane's bayside in 1894, was targeted by vandals who covered its outer walls in obscenities, upside down crosses and terrorist accusations sometime on Tuesday night.Included among the graffiti was the word 'mabone' which appears to be a reference to 'm…….',  thought to be a "secret word" among freemasons,  meaning the 'Grand Lodge is open'.Freemasons are an international brotherhood society which prides itself on being non-religious and non-political.A spokesman for Queensland Freemasons said the vandal attack was disappointing."There are people in this world who obviously have different standards to the rest of us," he said."We live in an equitable society and it is just unfortunate [this has happened]."Police are investigating.The Wynnum vandal attack follows four Townsville youths making and displaying a racist sign on Tuesday.Premier Campbell Newman called for the community to "come together", but said he didn't believe charges were necessary."This is a democracy, we believe in free speech and I think that in circumstances, a legal approach is the way to go," he said on Tuesday."Again, my message to people is this is a great country, it is a great state – the way it remains a great place is if we all get on. "Let's just get on with our lives, let's live our lives, let's reach out to one another, let's look beyond people's race or religion, as we always have, and then criminals like the deceased [gunman] in Sydney don't win."

H/T to  Alex Ruthman

Friday, December 12, 2014

St. Louis Selling The New Masonic Temple Downtown

The Masons in St. Louis are offering their magnificent downtown temple, known as the New Masonic temple,  for sale for a paltry $6 million.Very sad to lose this incredible place. We just keep selling off our own heritage.  From
ST. LOUIS - The historic Masonic Temple on Lindell Boulevard is up for sale.
The Masonic Temple Association of St. Louis has put the 386,000-square-foot building on the market for $6 million.
The temple itself has seen its brushes with history and history-making persons. It houses the former officer of then-Senator and Free Mason Grand Master Harry Truman, prior to his becoming President of the United States. And before flying solo to Paris aboard the Spirit of St. Louis, Charles Lindbergh was initiated as mason at the temple. Actor Ernest Borgnine, a mason, not only attended meetings there, but also filmed a scene on the temple steps for the 1980 film Escape from New York.
Architectural firm Eames and Young designed the temple, with consulting architect Albert Groves. Groundbreaking for the temple took place in 1923, with the dedication and opening happening in 1926. It would be Thomas Young's last major project before retiring in 1927; William Eames died in 1915.
The Masonic Temple was constructed in three receding stages, symbolic of the three steps in masonry. The building features 14 levels: six full floor and eight mezzanine levels.
The 185-foot tall temple showcases Greek Ionic style architecture on the exterior, with various styles inside, and massive triple bronze front doors.
The main lobby was built using Bedford limestone with gray limestone trim and marble finishing. The lobby also has a 38-foot mural titled "The Origins of Freemasonry," created by noted African-American artist Jessie Housley Holliman in 1941 and dedicated by Truman. It is the only surviving Holliman mural located in a local public building.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

GL of Texas Approves Prince Hall Visitation

Following on the heels of its Prince Hall brethren, the Grand Lodge of Texas A.F. & A.M. has formally approved inver-visitation privileges to the MW Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas F & A.M.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Prestonian Lecturer for 2015 Announced

The United Grand Lodge of England has announced its Prestonian Lecturer for 2015.
Roger Burt will travel England and beyond to present “Wherever Dispersed: The Traveling  Mason,” and raise funds for a registered charity in the process. Burt is a Past Master of both Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 and Vectis Lodge No. 3075. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Geological Society, Burt also is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter, and an Honorary Professor in the former Center for Research into Freemasonry at the University of Sheffield.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Quattro Coronati Cigars

Worshipful Brother Timothy Hogan is well known as an author and traveling lecturer. As of last weekend, he has stepped into the shoes of a tobacconist, with a complete line of fraternal-themed Dominican cigars. Introduced at the Colorado Masonic Symposium, Quattro Coronati Cigars are handmade cigars, "made by brethren for brethren."

The Magus is a double corona at 7 x 50. Ten to a box that retails for $144.

The Sanctum is a figurado measuring 5 7/8 x 56. Also ten to a box that retails for $144.

The Agape is a robusto shape. Ten to a box that retails for $144.

The Ruffian, a toro shape, also sells for $144 for a box of ten.

The Gran Solomon is a mighty 7.8 inch cigar with a 63 ring that comes in a box of five cigars, each in its own coffin, for $165. I am told it takes two hours to smoke completely.

The Anthology is a sampler containing two cigars of each shape. Also 10 to a box for $144.

Each box is beautifully decorated and each is a work of art. Shipping is free in the United States, and credit cards are accepted.

Tim's partners in this endeavor are Brothers Eduardo R. Adam and Oliver M. S. Guillet. The tobacco is raised in the Dominican Republic and hand-crafted by the Aging Room, ranked Number 2 in the world by Cigar Aficionado Magazine.

Order online here:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Colorado Masonic Symposium

The Colorado Masonic Symposium was a tremendous weekend of fun and information, and the organizers need to be congratulated. Ben Williams and the Education Committee did a great job of programming, breaks, breakout sessions and meals, on just three months' notice. Visitors came from as far as Wyoming, Kansas and Missouri, and I think everyone was very satisfied with the program. Next year should be even better. Colorado Masons are extremely lucky to have a Grand Lodge that supports Masonic education a top priority. Be proud and sign up early for next year!

Brother Tim Hogan was there to give a great lecture, but also to introduce a line of fraternal cigars that it was agreed are second to none outside of Cuba. I'll post more ordering information once I unpack all of my stuff.